August 21, 2012 / 7:17 AM / 5 years ago

Ethiopia's Meles had battled illness for a year -govt

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi had been battling an undisclosed illness for a year before he died late on Monday, a government spokesman said on Tuesday without giving further details.

"To be sick is human and he has been struggling to be healthy in the last year," Bereket Simon told reporters in the capital, Addis Ababa. Meles' family were by his side when he died, he said.

"He has been diligently delivering on his promises - illness has never been a hindrance," the spokesman said.

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